Ahmedabad, April 19: In an embarassment for Patidar quota activist-turned-Congress leader Hardik Patel, a farmer who had earlier agreed to allow his farmland to be used as landing spot for his chopper, took a u-turn at the end moment and revoked the permission. The forced Hardik to extend his travel by nearly 2 hours, as he commuted 100 km by road to reach the rally venue.
The incident took place in Lunawada in Mahisagar district of Gujarat, where Patel was scheduled to appear as a star-campaigner for Congress candidate Panchmahal Lok Sabha candidate Vechatbhai Khant. Hardik Patel Cannot Contest Lok Sabha Election 2019, Supreme Court Declines Urgent Hearing on His Conviction.
The farmer, Vinay Patel, went back on his permission to allow the chopper to land on his private field, an official said.
"Hardik was to attend an election rally at 5 pm Thursday at Lunawada and two days ago permission was granted for his helicopter to land at a private land.
"But the owner of the private land on which the temporary helipad was to be constructed for the chopper to land declined (permission) at the last moment," said resident additional collector RR Thakkar.
Since the permission to land his helicopter was cancelled, Hardik Patel travelled to the town by road to address the rally, the official said.
While speaking to reporters, Vinay sounded upset with Hardik, saying he is "playing politics on the bodies of those who died" during the Patidar reservation agitation."
Vinay claimed permission for the helicopter's landing was sought from district authorities here by a local Congress leader without his knowledge.
"On April 16, local Congress leader Suresh Patel had sought permission (from authorities) for a helipad without my knowledge. When I learnt that he was given permission, I raised objection after which action was taken," he said.
"I know Hardik, the Patidar leader from our community, and I know who he is. I object to him putting foot on my land because he is doing politics on the dead bodies of 14 Patidar youths (killed during the quota agitation)," he added.
(With PTI inputs)